Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Odds And Ends: Big Bill's Fundraising; The Latest From Our Pete Beat, And: On The ABQ Election Campaign Trail 

We broke the news this week that Downs at ABQ owner Paul Blanchard, a major friend of Big Bill, would be throwing the Guv a high dollar fundraiser Sept. 21st. It was an eyebrow raiser for the New Mexican's Steve Terrell who wondered about that application Blanchard has pending to move the racetrack from the fairgrounds and over to Moriarty. Would the fundraiser influence that state decision?

The Blanchard fund raiser comes on the heels of Bill taking hits over campaign contributions his Prez campaign received from Santa Fe developer Gerald Peters who is involved in a big transportation department construction deal pending with the state. The Guv ordered that job rebid.

Pay to play allegations have been the soft underbelly of the current Santa Fe administration, but it has not hurt the Guv's public standing. Why not? Because, the experts say, the public believes that's the way the system works for all politicians.


On the Prez trail, the Guv is getting tougher on his opponents as we hit the four month mark before the Iowa January caucuses. They are turning into something of a do or die for the New Mexican. He hovers at around 10 to 12% in the polls there and awaits a mistake from the front runners. His other options are Veep, secretary of state in a Dem administration as well as a NM US Senate run. If he runs smooth from here on out, perhaps his early mistakes will be forgotten. If Richardson isn't having the time of his life dealing with all these options, he needs fun therapy.


He's back on the radar of the national pundits after being absent for a while. The re-election prospects of NM GOP Senator Pete Domenici are analyzed in the National Journal where Charlie Cook says "New Mexico looks tougher" for Republicans as they fight to avoid heavy Senate losses next year.

Will legal or political problems trip up Alaska GOP Sen. Ted Stevens or New Mexico GOP Sen. Pete Domenici, who are 84 and 75 years old, respectively? Stevens is under scrutiny by the FBI as part of an investigation into influence buying in the state. For Domenici, questions have been raised about the propriety of a phone call from him to a U.S. attorney over the status of an investigation of Democratic political figures, and whether Domenici had anything to do with that U.S. attorney being subsequently sacked. New Mexico looks tougher for Republicans and now that they are in the minority in the Senate, Domenici doesn't have the clout he wielded just a year ago.

Photog Mark Bralley is out on the city campaign trail. Here's a pic he shot of Katherine Martinez, the political newcomer and government affairs rep for the Home Builders Association of Central NM who is trying to unseat incumbent district 2 councilor Debbie O'Malley. Martinez is the underdog but she has raised enough money to dot the North Valley district with her yellow campaign signs. Debbie has opted for public financing and also has signs up and will hit the mailboxes heavy.


The city ethics board audit of the campaign finances of District 9 ABQ City Councilor Don Harris has been released and despite being cited for 150 campaign violations, Harris calls the findings "messy, but not dirty." The ethics panel will now decide at a September 24 hearing what punishment, if any, it should mete out. Harris faces a recall election October 2.

Have a good weekend, and stop by again soon.

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